4th Armored Division
Nickname: None official. Sometimes called “Breakthrough.” ….. Shoulder Patch: Regular Armored triangle with red (FA), yellow (Cavalry) and; blue (Infantry) areas; black numeral; black tank tread and cannon crossed by red bolt of lightning. Source; Regular Army units. ….. History: The division is a product of this war and has no previous history. ….. Training: Activated: April 15, 1941. Pine Camp, New York Maneuvers: Tennessee, Second Army, 1942; Desert Training Center, 1943. Other U. S. stations: Camp Young, California, and Camp Bowie, Texas, Overseas: December 1943 (ETO). ….. Commanding Generals: Maj. Gen. H.W. Baird, April, 1941 to May, 1942; Maj., Gen. J. S. Wood May. 1942, to December, 1944; Maj. Gen. I. Gaffey, December, 1944, to March, 1945; Maj. Gen. W. M. Hoge, March 1945, to June, 1945; no successor appointed as of 19 September 1945. ….. Component Units: (As of December, 1943) 10th, 51st and 53rd Armored Infantry Battalions; 8th, 35th and 37th Tank Battalions; 22d, 66th and 94th Armored, FA Battalions, Higher Commands: First and Third Armies. ….. Awards: The 4th was the first armored division to get the Distinguished Unit Citation, awarded for spearheading the Third Army across France, December 22, 1944, to March 27, 1945. ….. Combat Highlights: From its landing in Normandy July 17, 1944, and in its first action (Coutances) July 28, battle action of the 4th Armored was continuous though France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany and to Czechoslovakia. After Coutance fell, the 4th lopped off the Brittany peninsula, swung east 264 miles to Prunay, smashed across the Moselle and cut into the German winter defense lines. Two steel columns enveloped Nancy, the Nazis fled east. The Germans, counterattacked with two Panzer brigades and a Panzer division, supported by grenadiers. They reeled back, leaving 281 Panther and Tiger tanks ablaze and in ruins on the hills. On December, 18, rumors of a German breakthrough, in Belgium and Luxembourg filtered in and that night orders came. The 4th made a forced march of 151 miles in 19 hours through Morhange, Pont-a-Mousson (on the Moselle) north to Briey and Longwy, through Arlon to an assembly area at Vaux-les-Rosieres. In the four-day battle that followed, December 22-26, the 4th battered its way across the Arlon-Bastogne highway and the beleaguered lost Airborne division was freed. The 4th, six weeks later, pierced the Siegfried line, crossed the Kyll, reached the Rhine – 65 miles in 58 hours – crossing the Rhine March 24-25,. Chemnitz, Czechoslovakia, was last goal line crossed by one off General Patton’s outstanding ground-gaining teams.
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